Jesus Say What?

A fellow wrote that there were plenty of places in the New Testament where Jesus said homosexuality was an abomination, and that all these people who were going to write about the Bible needed to read it.
Which is sort of the way I feel about the Constitution, but that’s another story.
I wrote him back that, pursuant to his advice, what were those places in the New Testament? He replied by ticking off seven incidences, some in the Old Testament, but four in the Book of Matthew.
I then read those chapters and discovered that none of the ones in the New Testament, the part of the Bible that sets Christianity apart from other religions, actually said anything about homosexuality. He wrote that I should check my translation, and I wrote back that I didn’t think the King James Version was exactly rogue.
Now Leviticus, the angriest book of the Bible, certainly did condemn gays, but one of my favorite stories is about the man who tattooed his back with Leviticus’s condemnation of homosexuality. I found it humorous that Leviticus 19:28 reads, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh, nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”
Just as a side point – and this, I feel, must be said since lots of people who hate gays assume anyone who doesn’t is one – I’m not even the tiniest bit gay. I really can’t relate to it, but I think people have the right to live their lives as they please.
I have gay friends. Not one has tried to convert me to his or her lifestyle. Women haven’t exactly been chasing me down, either, but once again, that’s another story.
Doesn’t everyone know someone who is gay? Doesn’t everyone know a gay person he (or she) doesn’t hate? People say they want the government out of their lives, that is, unless it’s the part of life that takes place in bedrooms. They want the church to play a role in government but not the health-care system. They are unconcerned with the deaths of innocent people around the globe but vitally concerned with children unborn in their midst.
How do they feel about terrorist abortions? I’m just looking for some consistency here.
Getting back to the Bible, when I pointed out that the New Testament words about gays were not there, the fellow who provided me all these reference points wrote that it wasn’t precisely the words but that it was what Jesus meant.
I asked him if he considered every word in the Bible literally correct, and, of course, he replied yes, so, then, I asked him how come, then, what Jesus said in Matthew was symbolic but the Book of Genesis was literally true? He wrote that I must be stupid because I never heard of a parable, and I replied that I must be even more stupid than he thought because that’s not what I thought the word “parable” meant.
Those who chimed in – they actually have chimes now on Facebook — completely ignored that point. They just said, well, that’s not what they thought. Why? It just wasn’t.
I spent a good bit of time this year reading the Bible. My main conclusion was that Jesus wasn’t much like the man taught in many churches. Most of today’s self-proclaimed champions of Christianity don’t teach the New Testament the way I read it.
Many Christians want God to do something for them. I think God derives satisfaction from those who do something for His glory, not theirs.


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